"What of the role of Pope Benedict? When he was in charge of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he led important changes made in church law: the inclusion in canon law of internet offences against children, the extension of child abuse offences to include the sexual abuse of all under 18, the case by case waiving of the statue of limitation and the establishment of a fast-track dismissal from the clerical state for offenders. He is not an idle observer. His actions speak as well as his words." ---Abp. V. Nichols, quoted by D. Thompson
Charlie Sykes is of the opinion that Rembert Weakland, disgraced homosexual former Archbishop of Milwaukee, is perfectly happy to put the current Pope into a bad light. No surprise: Rembie despises Ratzinger.
We agree with Charlie that Rembert's correspondence with Ratzinger about Fr. Murphy, a homosexual-pedophile, was ........ohhhh.........about 20 years too late.
COULD Ratzinger have done more?
Possibly, but it's hard to see how. He ordered Weakie to initiate a Canon Law proceeding against Murphy and it started 3 months after Weakie's letter.
Bp. Morlino, writing in Madison, does not name names but presents a
"In order to be responsible for something, one has to have the authority to do something about it. And the very people who want to make the Holy Father responsible for everything heinous in the sexual misconduct scandal are the least likely to accept the Pope’s authority in any matter. They are the most disobedient people, in general. Yet they want to lay all the responsibility at the Pope’s feet. That simply makes no sense and we should not be fooled."
Nicely done, Your Excellency.
There's plenty of blame to go around here and "Super Catholic" E. Michael McCann certainly didn't uphold the "tough on crime" attitude he normally applied in other areas. Clearly he took his orders from the Archdiocese. Big mistake, E. Michael, for the folks who were in charge in the Archdiocese were as rotten as the pedophile priests themselves.
But step back and look at the bigger picture here. Why did the Catholic Church go into neutral at best or reverse at worst when confronted with pedophile priests all across the country and now -- as we are seeing -- all across Europe? Why wasn't this particularly heinous crime treated as seriously as normal people would treat it? Why were the perpetrators coddled and moved to new parishes so that they could resume their nauseating "habits"? If sodomizing young people was a financial crime, these people would all be hit with RICO prosecutions!
My theory is that we got the "it's no big deal" response because, among a large group of cloistered men, this conduct wasn't that odd or out of the ordinary.
You tell me why that theory was wrong.
Morlino's comment is pure Morlino: It is the fault of the victim, not the fault of the perpetrator, and surely not the fault of the institution which protected and coddled these vile perpetrators for generations!
Surely the enablers themselves will rot in hell, but what about the legions of men who protected them over and over and over?
First off, I read Morlino's comment MUCH differently than you did. I think he was pointing a finger at various Bishops....who WERE (and some still ARE) disobedient.
As to your larger question, I have two possible answers: 1) I don't KNOW why, or 2) a combination of things, including:
The idea that with 'treatment' the problem would be resolved;
The idea that priest-predators should be 'protected' because they are priests;
The idea that (one) accusation does not a guilty-priest make;
Protection of friends;
Protection of the Church's reputation;
Avoiding the horrified reaction of Church members to such conduct...
Those are some ideas. Some have a bit more merit than others. To my mind, NONE of them excuse authorities for not calling the cops.
But what's done is done.
If you read what's been said about Ratzinger's reaction to this problem, you note that HE is the one who said "enough is enough" and was able to effect a number of changes which amounted to a crackdown at the Vatican end of things.
But what various Bishops do.....well.....
I think finger pointing and shoe pounding can go on and on and on but at the end of the day it's hard to get to the truth.
Archbishop Cousins perhaps didn't really know what he had on his hands. The response at that time: go see Leo Graham and he'll fix you. Obviously that didn't work.
Archbishop Weakland (and I considered him much more liberal than his consummate middle-of-the-road predecessor) was all over the boards. Much of his approach was to try to stuff the genie back into the bottle and stave off potential bad publicity. Yet, here, it does seem that he tried to take some action about one of the worst predators. Flip side, should he get a brownie point for what should have been done a long time earlier? Maybe he only moved when the heat was getting too intense. Who knows?
As for B-12, I don't think it's appropriate to point fingers at him or make him the scapegoat. My suspicion is that fault is far more global and it's not fair to isolate him. Bishop Morlino's defense may, however, also go too far. Even if the letter wound up in the wrong office and wrong hands, something that happens all the time in the real world, how difficult would it be to get it to the right place?
Finally, Dad29, your post (3/26) makes sense!
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